But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s even worse when your child has a learning disability.
That’s because you know the minute you start to work on the project there will be tears, yelling, gnashing of teeth and much stomping of feet and slamming of doors by at least one, if not all, of us. But because time is short, there is no time to take a break, or tackle the project in small bites.
And need I mention the guilt? For as angry as I may be about a complete and total breakdown of the homework system, there is guilt for failing our son even as we know he needs more help and support than your average child.
Tonight was that kind of night when I realized the first major deliverable of a biographical project involving role-playing, interview and costume was due on Wednesday. You know, the day after tomorrow.
Did I mention that our son left the source material at school?
Desperate times often lead to creative measures.
With libraries closed for the Martin Luther King holiday, I found and purchased a book for our son’s Amazon Kindle Fire. In addition to allowing him to use his favorite device (everything is better on a screen – including reading), I also showed him how he could look up words he didn’t know by highlighting the word and pulling up a definition. We also realized he could search the book when he couldn’t remember a term or name.
Reading completed, we were then faced with having him write or type his report, answering a list of questions provided by his teacher. Because of his dyslexia, our son is a terrible speller. While we’ve been encouraged to allow him to type, his spelling is so atrocious often the built in spell-checker is left completely confused by what he is trying to spell. And his typing skills are non-existence meaning just the act of typing can add several hours and degrees of pain and anguish.
So today we tried dictation for the first time. Recently my father had had a terrible time trying Dragon for Macintosh, so instead we turned to the dictation feature included with Mountain Lion, the new Apple operating system. Working slowly, sentence-by-sentence our son was able to answer each question, with very few dictation-related typos. The accuracy was pretty amazing.
Four hours after starting the project, our son’s rough draft was complete with minimal tears and fights. I am proud to say I kept my cool through most of his explosions – choosing to stay silent when he started yelling – and was amazed when he, upon realizing he was done, apologized for his behavior and thanked me for my help.
I have always been skeptical about using technology like dictation to help our son – I have concerns that he will never learn to spell, and his handwriting will remain nearly illegible – but today I can say that these tools made everyone’s life easier and contributed to my son’s sense of accomplishment and love of learning.
And that is a win.
Listen on Stitcher
In a MinuteSubscribe to receive automatic updates from Manic Mommies!
Blogads – Top
Blogads – Middle
Blogads – Bottom